April 30th, 2007

monkey pirate

Sparks +

Friday night daogre and a couple of other nerds and I went to a Vs. System card game tournament in Costa Mesa. It was a different format, and we'd all put together interesting decks that would be cool to try out against players other than ourselves. ("cool" is a very relative term here). Getting there was an ordeal of the highest magnitude - it involved trying to coordinate three different groups of people converging on the same place in downtown LA at the same time - and for me, driving across the city at rush hour. I really hate LA traffic, so much that even if there was nothing excellent about my apartment, I'd still pay the price just to be close to work.

We all met up at a Burger King right in the middle of things. Arriving, I declared the depth of my hatred for LA traffic, and then realized there's almost nothing at a Burger King that seems even slightly appetizing. There were clearly cartoon grumble-lines emanating from my head, because Danny volunteered to drive the rest of the way, even if we took the Adventure Galley (which we did). When we got into the vicinity we stopped at a liquor store to get a pre-tournament drink. It was there that daogre found a cache of "Sparks +". What is Sparks +, I asked?

It's a malt liquor energy drink. Now, malt liquor is pretty much trouble on its own. And energy drinks are generally consumed only by people who didn't really need to be wired in the first place. The two things together?

As we finally pulled up to the store where the tournament happened, we cracked the cans (40's, of course). I did make them wait to actually not have the car in motion to start drinking - my intent was to have a felony-free Friday night. I always have the best of intentions, really, I swear. As we were about to pound down 40 ounces of liquid belligerence, I said, "There's nothing about this that seems like a good idea." This met with a general chorus of derision and mockery, which I largely felt I deserved anyway. Let me tell you, that stuff was nasty - it tasted like cherry nyquil. But I drank it, and as predicted by the lads, the taste really didn't matter after about half a can.

The rest of the night went about like you'd expect it to go when you start it by drinking 40 ounces of trouble. I actually did better in the tournament than I expected, though still not particularly well. It took long enough - and the gamer-fug from the unwashed nerds packed into a small space was sobering enough - that by the time we were leaving everyone was basically as sober as a judge. The caffeine and various other stimulants, on the other hand, took ...oh, I don't know, about 72 hours to finally wear off. I can only imagine how wretched one would feel if one were to pound down several of those things. Crikey. I figure the "+" is for belligerence, because that's what you get when you're drunk AND wired to the gills.

Note to our legislators - this is the sort of thing you ought to be outlawing. It almost certainly leads to a higher incidence of crime than just regular ol' alcohol. Man am I glad they didn't have this stuff when I was in college.
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